N. Richland Hills’ Adventure World getting new equipment

03/02/2014 11:38 AM

03/02/2014 11:39 AM

The city’s largest playground will have new equipment by early summer for children of all abilities and disabilities.

A new boardwalk leading to a nature trail should appeal to many adults.

The centerpiece of the Adventure World playground upgrade will be a large-scale, climbing structure with multiple levels and forts, said Vickie Loftice, the city’s managing director of community services, and Joe Pack, senior park planner.

Other features will include reinforced concrete structures designed to look like logs and mushrooms. New swings will be added, including some designed for children who need support, Pack said.

Adventure World, at 7451 Starnes Road, was built in 1994 with the help of community volunteers, city officials have said. The playground was notable because it was designed to be “all-inclusive,” with wide pathways and gradually climbing inclines, so children in wheelchairs could access the climbing structures.

The playground’s size, equipment and location have made it a regional attraction.

The wooden structures, however, have begun to deteriorate and need to be updated, city officials said. About 10,000 square feet of the 25,000-square-foot playground will be renovated, Pack said.

Work is expected to begin within the next few weeks. The park will be closed during renovations, according to the city’s website.

The project’s $600,000 cost is expected to be covered by a half-cent sales tax, Loftice and Pack said. The project includes drainage improvements and a “woodlands excursion” boardwalk.

Adventure World is part of the 100-acre Cross Timbers Park, which has a large section of forest, meadows and small shrub areas. The boardwalk, similar in style to the one at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, will take visitors into the park’s natural sections. Volunteers and Scout troops are expected to help build the boardwalk.

On a recent Saturday morning, David Hatfield, 30, and Neal Helf, 30, both of Fort Worth, came out with their wives and young children.

Hatfield said his wife comes every few weeks during summer. Adventure World is larger than most other playgrounds, and it’s a chance to meet friends. Helf said his family likes the variety of play options.

Hatfield said he grew up in North Richland Hills, and the playground has not changed much in the past 15 to 20 years. He thought the updated equipment would draw more residents. Helf said the boardwalk will likely attract a whole new group of people.

“We’re always looking for places to take family photos,” Helf said.

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